After the Storm – Business assistance resources
Undoubtedly, many businesses and residents may find themselves still picking up the pieces after Hurricane Matthew hit last month. On behalf of our Board of County Commissioners and the St. Johns County Economic Development Department, we would like to let all members of our business community know that we are here to help you get back to business. Several federal, state and local agencies, along with our economic development partners Florida Small Business Development Center and the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, are offering programs and resources available to assist those businesses affected by Hurricane Matthew.Disaster Recovery Center Opens in St. Johns County
A Disaster Recovery Center has opened in St. Johns County to help survivors affected by Hurricane Matthew’s severe storms and flooding that affected the state beginning Oct. 3. The location of the center is:
St. Johns County Wind Mitigation Bldg
3111 Agricultural Center Drive
St. Augustine, FL 32092
Open Monday – Saturday
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Disaster Recovery Centers serve as one-stop shops for eligible storm survivors seeking one-on-one help. Representatives from the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and various state agencies will be at the center.
Damage Assessment Survey
Business owners who have experienced damages as a result of Hurricane Matthew are encouraged to fill out the Business Damage Assessment Survey at http://flvbeoc.org and submit a survey with your damages.
Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
Governor Rick Scott has activated the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support affected small businesses. The application for the bridge loan program extends through Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, and may be found at www.floridadisasterloan.org.
Small Business Administration Disaster Loans
A federal disaster declaration has been made for St. Johns County, which makes low-interest disaster loans available for business recovery. SBA disaster loans may cover repairs, rebuilding, as well as the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property. Businesses of all sizes are encouraged to go to www.sba.gov/disaster to find forms and a list of necessary documentation business owners will need to complete disaster loan applications. For more information about SBA loans, call SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955, email SBA at email@example.com or contact our local Small Business Development Center.
Local Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
St. Johns County is very pleased to have a local Small Business Development Center office and a dedicated, full-time Certified Business Analyst, Marge Cirillo. She is located in the St. Johns County Permit Center at 4040 Lewis Speedway in St. Augustine and she may be reached at (904) 209-1295 or firstname.lastname@example.org. After the storm, Cirillo is assisting businesses in completing disaster loan applications and consulting on business continuity, among other topics. For business continuity and other information, check out the SBDC website at www.sbdc.unf.edu.
We are very appreciative to the Florida SBDC, and especially our local contacts Cathy Hagan and Marge Cirillo, for coordinating the SBDC Mobile Assistance Center to be located in St. Johns County after the storm and staffing it to assist our local businesses.
Temporary Office Space
St. Johns County public libraries continue to offer recovery resources to impacted businesses through their six branches. Services include free public Wi-Fi, access to desktop computers, printing, free scanning, fax services and notary service at some branches.
Be sure to follow St. Johns County on social media for all the most up-to-date press releases and public service announcements. Remember, we’re here to help so please contact us if you need assistance. Let’s work together to rebuild.
Melissa S. Glasgow is the St. Johns County Director of Economic Development.